Crete, a magical tapestry of splendid beaches, ancient treasures and landscapes encompassing vibrant cities and dreamy villages where locals share their traditions, delicious cuisine and generous spirit. Crete, Chania offers the chance to luxuriate on pink-sanded beaches, then zip inland to mountain rimmed gorges and quite villages.
Chania is an old storied town with his old Venetian harbor, tightly hugged with the Mediterranean Sea. A dreamed place to walk, to feel, to remember romantic chapels, incredible sunsets, panoramic locations and magical routes are waiting for you to discover them in Chania Crete. Chania is a place blessed with beauty, embraced with breathtaking mountains and the deep blue of the Mediterranean, decorated with renaissance colors and inhibited by people known for their hospitality, honoring their ancestors and traditions.
The exotic lagoon of Balos/Gramvousa
The perfect day trip starts here. Imagine a place where the waters are so clear and scenery so idyllic even Caribbean visitors envy the region! Balos Lagoon, characterized by its white-pinkish sand and broken sea-shells is a spectacular site. With shallow waters and reefs, it is ideal for both children and snorkelers. The lagoon is accessible by boat from Kissamos departing daily in the summer months. Along the same trip one can also visit the Gramvousa Venetian Fortress at the island of Gramvousa. An impressive and unique environment of steep rocks and cliffs, immense blue sea and hidden sandy beaches.
Falassarna Beach and ancient city, is perhaps the most famous beach in Chania and was voted in May 2013 in a CNN poll as one of the 100 best beaches in the world. Famous for its white powdery sand and breathtaking turquoise color of the sea, Falassarna is part of the Natura 2000 network, a European Commission network of naturally protected areas, both due to its variety of flora and fauna and as an area of outstanding natural beauty.
View the wildest natural landscape in Crete, a majestic area filled with deep gorges, mountainous peaks, rocky and captivating terrain all engulfed by the Libyan Sea. Chora Sfakion is the southernmost tip of Europe. It is perhaps best characterized by the temperament of its inhabitants, descendants of ancient civilizations and Byzantine families. Local village folk are so fiercely proud of their region that their characters could be said to reflect the rugged formation of the ground they prosper on.
Quaint and peaceful Sougia
Enjoy the scenic route through villages and groves as you reach the charming seaside village of Sougia in the south of Crete. A quaint village, of no more than 120 inhabitants, Sougia is still unaffected by the islands vast growth of tourism. With an abundance of taverns and excellent food to choose from, its main attraction is the gorgeous one kilometer long pebble beach that stretches the length of the village. The area is also favored by those whom like to explore on foot, with several interesting paths and areas to discover.
The pearl of Libyan sea – Paleochora
Considered the “Pearl of the Libyan Sea”, Paleochora, surrounded by mountains and located at the tip of a peninsular 77km south of Chania is known for its breathtaking beauty, mineral rich waters and laid back atmosphere. The area, is compromised of the western peninsula dotted with taverns in between the trees and the remains of the old Venetian Fort/ Marina situated at its tip – a must see area.
Unforgettable Elafonisi beach
Elafonisi, has been voted as one of the top five secret beaches according to the BBC World News in July 2013, and is perhaps one of the most famous beaches in the whole of Greece. Unforgettable to say the least, Elafonisi is a tiny peninsula island with pinkish/white sand, separated from the shore by a lagoon no more than a meter deep. Towards the ‘breaking’ point of the island, the water depth does not exceed 1 meter in depth. The island it’s self is a protected nature reserve, with rare flora and fauna as well as the nestling ground of the endangered sea turtle Caretta-Caretta.
CHANIA OLD TOWN
Chania old town and Archaeological museum
Take a walk back in time through 5.000 years of history & architecture as you stroll the picturesque alleys and hidden walk-ways of Chania’s old-town, dotted with restaurants, taverns, boutiques and jewelry stalls. The old-town of Chania, on and around the hill of Kasteli, was built upon the ruins of Minoan Kydonia and is surrounded by the Byzantine Wall, the Venetian Wall, harbor and sea. Seeped in history, complete the journey with a stop at the Archeological Museum which features exhibitions and archaeological findings from century’s back.
The charming Chania municipal market
The epitome of the traditional ancient Greek market place, the Chania Municipal market lies in the heart of the city, a beautiful 4.000sq.m building still intact with all its original features and protected by the Ministry of Culture. The market houses over 60 grocery shops with colorful vegetable stalls, cheese shops, butchers and fish mongers. One will not be able to resist the temptation to purchase fresh fruit or veg whilst walking through or even taste an olive along the way!
Stroll the old Venetian Harbor & Lighthouse
The Old Venetian Harbor and lighthouse, is perhaps the most characteristic feature of Chania, and most photographed monument in Crete. One’s trip would not be complete without a stroll along the waterfront, in front of the many restaurants, stalls, shops, and coffee shops. Built by the Venetians in 1320, the harbor then used for commerce, is today’s cosmopolitan and artistic center of the island. The lighthouse, the harbors most distinctive feature is not to be missed at night as it lights up and magically glimmers on the water.
The plateau of Omalos & Samaria gorge
With a view that will take your breath away, the famous Omalos plateau lies at an altitude of 1.250 meters and is surrounded by the mountaintops of the Lefka Ori. Here too, lies the entrance to the world famous Samaria Gorge. The Samaria Gorge is the largest gorge in Europe 16km in length, and has been declared a nature reserve since 1962.
The gorge contains rare species of flora and fauna, such as the Cretan wild goat (or kri-kri as the local call it) as well as rare species of eagles and wild birds, all of which are protected by international treaties. Crossing the gorge, which takes roughly 4 to 5 hours, is permitted from May to September and is a must do for the avid hiker, walker or nature lover.
Chania city on wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chania
Chania map guide: http://www.chaniatourism.com/the-city-of-chania/chania-maps.html
Chania weather: http://www.meteo.gr/meteoplus/cf-En.cfm?city_id=21
Region of Crete: http://www.crete.gov.gr/index.php?lang=en
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